I was sat in a sunny London park on the weekend and was inspired to write a reminder, to myself and to anyone that may read this. I sat and watched families play in the sun, their giggling children rolling in the grass being licked by the family dog, the breeze blowing through the golden leaves of the oak trees and the sunlight reflected in the mirrored lake. An obvious reminder, but a necessary one, enjoy life because every moment is new and every moment is special.
It was easy to think of life as a blessing in this moment, surrounded by natural beauty and the tangible joy that filled the scene, but how easy is it to think this way when stuck in the grey concrete citadel of central London on the same sweaty tube journey that we take, day in, day out and with the stresses and strains of modern life pulling us in so many directions?
It is easy to forget, but we must remember because life wants us all here, life has chosen us to be exactly where we are in this moment. I think back to a time in Northern India when I would walk past a beggar on the street every day on my morning walk. Her body wracked by leprosy and decay, but still, every day that I passed her I noticed her joyful, toothless smile. I vowed that I would never forget this lesson and forever be reminded that happiness and joy is a choice no matter how bad it seems. For months after this I was the most peaceful I had been in years. Gradually though, I began to forget.
We must remember that we cannot ask life what it owes to us but always ask what we can give to life. What are we prepared to give in this moment? Are we prepared to see life for what she is, for the beauty and growth in every second, to answer the call when things are hard and life asks you to give a little more? How do you define your life? Do you define it as a struggle, a grind, do you define yourself as a victim and hard done by or do you see life as an adventure, a beautiful mystery and you as an actor in the grand play?
Life will always test you, it will always ask if you still want to grow, it will ask you if you want to flourish and surround yourself with the ones you love, to follow your uniqueness and your own path or will you be forced into a box that somebody else pushed you into and forget that you have as much to give, and what you have to give is as worthwhile as anyone else.
Everything we are and everything we do is a choice, even in the most negative environments we have a choice in our actions. If you stay in a job you dislike so you can pay your bills and to care for your commitments then you have chosen to weather this storm in order to pay your bills and to care for your commitments. Maybe there is another way, if so then choose that way, if there is no other way, then do that.
It takes bravery to follow your intuition and to put everything on the line to do what you love but this does not mean that to follow this path will be an easy one. It is hard for a fish to swim upstream but the fish who swims upstream will become skilled at swimming around the obstacles that comes its way. Don’t wait for lightening to strike you, for divine inspiration to come your way because it may never come. There is no right way, no right path, the only right path is the one you walk on with a joy for life. A tree does not care how it’s branches grow, as long as they reach towards the sun. Find the sun in your life and make sure you always focus on it and always walk towards it, content that you are growing in the right direction.
As I sat with the wind brushing the golden leaves from the trees, I closed my eyes as they brushed my face. I realised that nature, and life is always talking with us, reminding us to play, to stay awake, to give more. We must not forget.